Thursday, March 26, 2020

5 Kernels of Truth That Will Keep Hobby Farming Fun

Insect infestations, alpha battles among animals, inconsistent yields; it’s easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed with your hobby farm. But remember — this was supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience, right? Here is some sage advice to help you get back to basics and remember why you donned the overalls and straw hat in the first place:

1. Document Your Journey
When you’re not sure why things are not working as they should, it can help to start documenting your efforts. Write down everything in a farm journal, the techniques you’ve tried, the results you’ve gotten, even a daily recap of how your trials made you feel. Don’t try to analyze everything at once. After some time has passed, patterns and new ideas may start to emerge.
2. Listen To Experience
Journaling your experiences can help you build on your successes and learn from your failures. Don’t discount the advice you get from others in your community, either. Those who have cultivated the fields for years often have excellent tips, from where to find little-known Ontario farms for sale or the soundest way to deal with a bullying hen.
3. Practice Patience
Many experienced growers recommend that you allow yourself several years before you start to wonder if you’ve got what it takes. Life isn’t easy, and keeping life alive despite nature’s best efforts often requires patience and perseverance. You may find that you — and your crops and livestock — are hardier than you think.
4. Study Up Before You Sow
Holding your nose and blindly jumping into the agricultural waters will most likely lead only to failure and frustration. Read up on each facet of your farm before you introduce it to your milieu. Still, take care not to overdo it; applying advanced knowledge can be counterproductive while you’re still learning the basics.
5. Think Outside the Crop
One technique that could be advantageous to you no matter your skill is companion planting. Many plants are commonly grown together, like tomatoes and basil, and for more reasons than spaghetti sauce recipes:
Repel insects attracted to neighboring crops
Rebalance nutrients in the soil
Support or protect other plants
Provide ground cover and suffocate weeds

Do your research here, too; there are some conventional crops that are harmful to neighboring plants.

The last and likely most vital piece of wisdom is to do whatever necessary to enjoy the process and have fun with your work. If you’re like most other hobby farmers, this is a labor of love, so do what you can to return the joy to your tasks.

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